Thursday, November 18, 2010

You Can Do This

Yesterday morning, all was peaceful and calm until about 8 am. Jason left early for a busy day of work meetings, followed by a flight to Winnipeg in the late afternoon, and I was sipping my coffee and enjoying the sight of the mountains of snow outside while reveling in the fact that I didn't have to drive anywhere other than to take Ava to and from school in town. Then William went to the bathroom, and began screaming the kind of high pitched cry that all mothers recognize and run for.

Something was really wrong. He was in pain and couldn't finish going pee. I immediately went to a bladder infection in my mind, or possible irritation from the chlorine after all of the swimming we did on the weekend, but this pain was not normal pain. I phoned a friend who is a nurse, and she has saved my bacon more times than I can count when it comes to medical questions both large and small.

I explained the problem, and listened to her ideas about what I should check and do. Since the area of concern is of a delicately private nature, I won't go into too much detail here, but suffice it to say that when I began to look into some of the possible causes, the problem instantly became more serious. In short, I panicked, utterly and completely, and visualized emergency surgery far away at the Children's Hospital on a snowy and freezing cold day when I had hoped to stay in my warm house.

The mind does curious things when it is stressed. It reminds me of an untrained and hyper dog, straining at the leash, while the rest of the body and soul are dragged along violently for the ride. I hate all mysteries; generally anything that is not cut and dried is an enemy to me. I want to be sure and not unsure. I'm learning to let go of this need in the area of faith and ideas, but when it comes to the health of my children I would prefer no grey areas.

I got Ava to school and phoned my friend back with my desperation and fear reaching new levels. She was like the counselor on the other end of the crisis hotline: reassuring and certain where I was floundering and anxious. She said, "You are a good mom. You have everything you need in order to take care of this problem. You can do this."

That calm sense of assurance was like a balm on my wounded soul. Words are like sutures which can close a gaping wound. The pain is still there, but the acute ache from the air hitting the cut is removed, and you can see your way clearly once again. Our words are powerful if we will use them to help each other instead of destroy one another. She gave me a few minutes of advice and strategy when I was blinded by my own fear and failure to do the right thing as a mother, and then she gave me confidence in myself, which is a gift much better than anything else.

When I hung up, I had a plan, and it most certainly changed the shape of my day, but by lunch time I had hard answers to my questions, antibiotics in hand, and a restored faith that I was competent to actually fix the problem on my own. My friend was calm where I was not, and it made all of the difference in the world. Now I want to do that for someone else because it's simple and easy, and I know from experience that it works.

We can all do it, every day, and in most every situation, but we lose confidence when the obstacles get too big or the negative emotions begin to take over. Sometimes we need reason, and calm, and certainty to see us through. If we can't find it on our own, we can look for it, from those who love us and will support us. Those relationships are like diamonds among zirconias, and I treasure some of them just a little bit more after yesterday.

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